Supporting Carers of those with drug and alcohol issues


At any one time there are around 500 people in Torbay receiving support for their drug and alcohol dependency, and the number of deaths from drug poisoning in Torbay has doubled in 10 years – that’s 51 deaths between 2016 and 2018.

Alongside those in treatment, there are many hundreds across the Bay whose use of drugs and alcohol is a real issue in their daily lives. And this has effects far beyond the user themselves. For each individual experiencing problems with their use of drugs or alcohol, there is often a family Carer- a partner, a parent or even a child who is offering what support they can.

If you are one of those Carers, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s Carer’s Service is inviting you to come along to Paignton Library on Carers Rights Day on Thursday 21 November. This is part of a national campaign to help unpaid Carers understand their rights; learn about what support is available to them; and also how to access that support.

The events on offer include: a mindfulness taster session and a day of talks and exhibition stands, including information and advice about Carers rights, benefit entitlements, assessments, support, discounts and much more. There will also be a dedicated confidential area for Carers to talk about any issues they may have.

This is an opportunity to meet other Carers who support their loved ones. Said one Paignton mother, “Support is there and it’s important to know that you’re not alone in caring for someone with this problem. I’ll be there on Carers Right s day and hope to meet others who have experienced the same things I have done in supporting my son”.

For more information about Carers Services, please contact Signposts for Carers on 01803) 666620 or email

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Kevin Dixon went to Audley Park – now Torquay Academy – and South Devon College when it was at Torre. After studying at Birmingham City University, he returned home because there’s nowhere else quite like Torquay. He then became involved in community and adult education, completed a PhD at Exeter University , and started writing about the weird and unknown side of town. He now Chairs Healthwatch Torbay and is involved in health and social care in the Bay.